Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
3:08 PM 2nd April 2014

QED Wins Major Muslim Achievement Award

Dr Mohammed Ali, Chief Executive of QED (right) receiving the Uthman Dan Fodio for Community Development by Zaid AL-Rawni, Head of Communications, Islamic Relief (UK) at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event on 31 March 2014
[Photo by Abdul Datoo/The Muslim News]

Yorkshire's QED has received national recognition winning the coveted Uthman Dan Fodio Award for Excellence in Community Development at the twelfth Muslim News Awards for Excellence. Prime Minister David Cameron joined 800 people at London's Grosvenor House on 31 March to celebrate the very best of British Muslim Achievement.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence is Britain's longest standing Muslim awards event. The coveted award ceremony recognises the very best of Muslim contribution to British society.

QED operates at a local, national and international level. It tackles grass root problems by delivering ground-breaking services in health, education and employment to those most in need. It does this while engaging, influencing and advocating on the wider issues affecting Muslims in British society. Its national reputation as a leading agency for change, addressing the social and economic inequalities Muslims face, has been built over 24 years.

Founder and CEO of QED, Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, said: "It was a great honour to receive this sought after Award and recognition of the important work we have done at a grass roots, community level. Whilst we should celebrate the successes of British Muslims to inspire others, we should not underestimate the challenges still ahead. Muslims suffer more than double the UK's average poverty levels, while the economic activity rate for Muslim women is just 30%."

The Guest of Honour, Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, "I'm delighted to have taken part in this year's Muslim News Awards for Excellence, where we were able to champion and celebrate the huge contribution British Muslims make to our country. I was truly impressed hearing about the extraordinary work of the nominees and winners, and it was great to have been able to meet some of them tonight."

Amongst the other 15 winners were, in sport, Mo Farah, Olympic gold medallist, who is also involved in various philanthropic initiatives; in the media, Roohi Hasan, a senior producer at ITV News, and the children's award went to 10-year-old, Ahmed Saleh, who has won numerous kickboxing and freestyle karate titles at national, European, and global levels.

Cameron said that, "I see for myself on a daily basis the massive contribution of British Muslims. From my own colleagues, such as Sayeeda Warsi, Sajid Javid and Tariq Ahmad on the Government benches to the Muslim businesses and enterprises that are bringing growth back to Britain. And of course I frequently see the outstanding achievements of Muslim sportsmen and women, public servants, entertainers and community leaders. The list goes on and on."

"Tonight we celebrate an entire community - one that is vibrant, hard-working and proud. My message to British Muslims is that this Government is here for you. We are backing hard-working families who want to get on and do the right thing; we are reforming the education system, giving parents more say and delivering the schools and skills that our young people need to succeed; we are reforming the welfare system so it rewards those who want to work; we are cutting taxes, so that people get to keep more of their hard-earned money, and we are creating jobs, so people can provide for their families and feel secure. This is all part of our long-term plan to build a stronger economy and I know that British Muslims will play a vital part in helping to achieve future prosperity and security for our country."

Special guests included Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, Minister of State at Ministry of Justice, Simon Hughes. They were joined by civic and religious leaders, as well as representatives from the worlds of politics, business, sport and the arts, to honour unsung heroes and heroines of the community.

In a message, Opposition Leader Ed Miliband, said: "Tonight's awards ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the great talent shown and contribution given by Muslim people in all walks of life. The awards recognize not only excellence in business, sport, arts and technology, but also those who have served their communities selflessly. It is a true celebration of values core to our country - of community and commitment, of education and learning."

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Liberal Democrats, said: "The Muslim News Awards for Excellence has become the flagship event for Muslim communities in the UK highlighting British Muslim contributions to society which might otherwise go unrecognized. The contribution of British Muslims to the country's rich multicultural landscape cannot be underestimated."